My friend, Mike Morrell, sent me a complimentary review copy of Speaking of Jesus, a new book by Carl Medearis.
I dove into eagerly, as I've deeply appreciated Medearis' previous writings, and speaking of Jesus is somethign I love to do!
The subtitle, "the art of not-evangelism" intrigued me. I teach evangelism courses for FLAME (nontraditional students pursuing ordination in the Wesleyan Church) and wondered how "speaking of Jesus" fits with "not-evangelism"
Basically, Medearis says the Gospel is a person -- Jesus. It is not a program. It is not a worldview. It is not a belief system, a doctrine or a creed. The Gospel is Jesus, pure and simple.
If we focus on Jesus in our conversations with unbelievers, rather than trying to defend Christianity, we'll make far better progress, Medearis suggests. He speaks from the unusual perspective of having lived among Muslims in Beruit for several years.
"Muslims respect Jesus," he observed, "they just don't like Christians."
I appreciate how this book reminds us that our faith should be a vibrant relationship with a living Being, rather than dead religion. At times, Medearis takes it to the edge, when it comes to being a "friend of sinners." But I wonder, where would we find Jesus if he showed up at our town in the flesh?